Crean didn’t just say Robinson was a good help defender once, he said it several times. He also named three other players and said those four guys (including Robinson) were the help defenders he specifically included in the game plan and scouting reports. Now, just because Crean said something doesn’t make it fact, but that people automatically discount it or claim Crean was lying or pulling an elaborate hoax is a little weird.
A little research turned up some interesting quotes from Donlon from last year (see below). Maybe you don’t buy it or you think the coaches are just motivating Robinson. Or maybe you think his on-ball defense is so bad it overwhelms anything he offers as a help defender. But maybe, just maybe, it’s worth considering as a possibility and rewatching a game or watching the next game with that in mind.
“From the day Saddi (Washington) and I got here, doing defensive drills in the summer, he always stayed and asked questions after, in a good way,” Donlon said. “I thought it showed his commitment, and he thought it was important, not only in his game but with our team. Because he’s always been a good coach of others. But when you look at his (defensive) position, it’s really good. He gets to spots. He’s had some significant gap steals in games.”
After one of the Big Ten tournament games this month, Donlon told Robinson that he played a nearly perfect defensive game. Robinson was validated. When a shot drops, he knows it’s expected. But this was a product of his hard work.
Against Oklahoma State, Robinson made a good decision by not over-helping when guard Jawun Evans was running on a fast break. The play, Donlon said, would have resulted in an easy three for an opponent two months earlier